The Resourceful Osprey
There is no security on this earth, there is only opportunity.*
The osprey is a remarkable bird. One of America’s largest raptors, the osprey lives on every continent except Antarctica. An osprey’s body is between 22 to 25 inches long, with a wingspan of 4.5 to 6 feet. Females are larger than males. Wherever shallow water, fresh or salt, and sizable fish abound you will find osprey. In the fall and winter, they migrate to warmer waters in the most southern states or South America.
An osprey’s diet consists of 99% freshly caught fish. After spotting a fish from an altitude of 50-200 feet above water, the osprey enters a steep dive at speeds up to 80 mph and enters the water talons first; submerging itself 3 feet or more as it grasps the fish in its uniquely designed feet. It then turns the fish forward in an aerodynamic attitude and climbs to a nearby tree to feast.
Naturally found nesting high in trees near water, the osprey’s flexibility leads them to build their nest of up to 1,000 pounds wherever they can find a solid support. They will even build their nests on manmade structures such as channel markers, utility poles, and cell phone towers. Ospreys generally mate for life. If an osprey pair cannot find a suitable nesting spot, they will delay breeding. Such adaptability has allowed them to repopulate at remarkable rates after near demise due to DDT poisoning in the 1960’s and 70’s.
Whenever my husband and I go outside, we naturally scan the skies for birds. Sighting an osprey is a special treat. Now that I know the secret of their success, I admire them even more. Their resourcefulness reminds me of the words of the Apostle Paul: I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.**
Perhaps in the osprey there is an oracle for us during these stressful times. Do you agree?
*General Douglas MacArthur, US WWII general & war hero
**Philippians 4:12, The Holy Bible (English Standard Version © 2001 Crossway Bibles)